Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Quasi-Experimental Study of Changes in Self-Awareness and Authentic Leadership After Participation in a Volunteer Event
by Palmer, Judith Quinn, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2014, 206; 3637768
Abstract (Summary)

Leader capacity is threatened by a projected gap in corporate leadership as a result of retirements of the baby-boomer cohort necessitating a need to develop effective leaders. Authentic leadership, underpinned by people's sense of self-awareness, has been found to increase employee performance. The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to examine changes in self-awareness and authentic leadership among volunteers and controls over a 40-day period during which a national breast-cancer walk occurred. A Pearson's correlation was conducted as a control to determine whether self-awareness and authentic leadership are independent constructs. Forty-six volunteers were selected from publicly posted lists of volunteers matched by age and gender to 46 controls that were recruited from Survey Monkey™. Self-awareness was measured using the Leader Self Awareness Scale and authentic leadership was measured using the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire. Both questionnaires were self-administered as a pretest 7 days prior to the event, as a posttest 7 days after the event, and as a follow-up 30 days after the event. Mixed ANOVAs were used to reveal a significant interaction effect of volunteerism by time on self-awareness, F(2, 180) = 59.43, p < .001, and authentic leadership, F(2, 180) = 57.62, p < .001, while no significant main effects for volunteerism were found for either self-awareness, F(1, 90) = .007, p = .93, or for authentic leadership, F(1, 90) = .04, p = .84. There was a significant positive correlation between self-awareness and authentic leadership among volunteers, r(44) = .70, p < .001, 30 days after the event, which was not found in the controls, providing additional confidence in the interpretation of the study results in that self-awareness and authentic leadership were independent constructs. Overall, these findings suggest that volunteerism over time may have functioned as a trigger event leading to enhanced self-awareness and increased authentic leadership. To expand the value of this study beyond the specific venue of the 3-day cancer walk, investigations into other volunteer events are needed as well as investigations into the reflection process. Recommendations for organizations include cultivating employees, who volunteer, in order to develop self-awareness and authentic leadership potential.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sharf, Ruth
Commitee: Kea, Howard
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Social psychology, Business education
Keywords: Authentic leadership, Reflection time, Self-awareness, Transformative learning, Trigger event, Volunteerism
Publication Number: 3637768
ISBN: 9781321208009
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